'nduja Induced Amnesia

June  2, 2010
Author Notes

PHOTO CREDIT: Lisa M. Hamilton for Boccalone. This recipe was inspired by a recent lunch at the Purple Pig in Chicago which specializes in guess what? There I ordered from their menu of "smears", something between a bruschetta and open faced sandwich. I went with their pig neck rillette, which camed with grilled bread slices and a mostarda. Actually their mostarda was more like a compote lacking the spicy curry/mustard punch of the real thing but the rillettes were great. All do it yourself. But well before this I became aware of 'nduja, a spicy, spreadable salume made from pig insides. The New York Times posed this question; "How can mere meat inspire such intrigue? In 2009, ’nduja was the spicy underground taste that went mass market, making it the Lady Gaga of pork products." Actually it originated in Calabria and anything that begins with apostrophe N is a dialect word. So here, I've chosen to combine it with burrata cheese (Pugliese) and a couple of other table condiments. All DYI. Depending on where you live you will most likely order on-line. Mine comes from Boccalone in San Francisco. I'm sure at some point I'll try it out on pizza. —pierino

  • Serves 4-6
  • 2 six ounce links, 'nduja
  • 1 small burrata cheese
  • 1 1 loaf, crusty oven baked bread with "eyes"
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil (preferrably from California)
  • mostarda di Cremona
  • harissa
  • alioli
  • fennel pollen
  • fleur de sel
In This Recipe
  1. Slice bread into 1/4" slices, sandwich size
  2. With a sharp knife or scissors open up the links. It's okay to leave in the casing
  3. Do the same with the burrata
  4. Place the condiments in individual ramekins for the table
  5. Meanwhile grill your bread slices. Rub with garlic and drizzle with just a tiny bit of olive oil
  6. Be sure you have some knives, small spoons or spreaders out for the DYI part. This "sandwich" can be open faced or lidded. Everybody get down tonight.
  7. BTW encourage your guests to add a little fleur del to the bread while it's still hot off the grill.

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  • pierino
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Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.